Conceived between long periods spent abroad in Indonesia (2013-2015) and Morocco (2018) for ethnomusicology purposes, Religious Music For Non-Believers is at the same time a eulogy for Pauline Oliveros' demise, a homage to the music of Tim Hecker and Earth, and finally a descent into timeless horizons, where Ldgu seeks epiphanies in the realm of sound-related truths.
Ldgu’s music was recorded live at Chiesa Santissima Annunziata, Porto Sant’Elpidio (Marche, Italy) over two very hot and humid summer evenings in August 2017. All the tracks of the album are raw excerpts from Ldgu's extended improvisations on the church’s massive pipe organ.
"When I got the scholarship that allowed me to move to Central Java, I was coming from a period of my life in which I had tried to get rid of my ego in every possible way. Through music, through drugs, through sex, through poetry. I was dismantling it, atomizing it, to recollect the pieces over and over while looking at them through the microscopic lenses of experience.
I was trying to find a deeper meaning in everyday life, and the further I was sailing, the more I flaked off. My "self" was thus losing tiny particles, like cosmic debris, along the journey. After almost three years spent in Indonesia, I got back to Italy with a spiritual strength I was given by the teachings of the Javanese and of the Dayak: my ego, which had been scattered because of the blows dealt by that difficult challenge I imposed on myself, found both renewed strength and unity. These came from infinite and disinterested love, symbols and rituals, nature, knowledge, and music.
At this point, one thing was clear to me: if I had comprehended how and where such learnings were rooted and if I finally felt like a tough oak instead of a weak shrub, I had also understood the rootlessness of being a western young man in the 2000s. No matter how much I had studied Greek, Latin, philosophy, the history of Italian art, literature, and poetry: I was just a product of neoliberalism, an embodied ghost constantly seeking stronger emotions and singularities, trapped in what was nothing else but a deadly loop.
Thus, as soon as I got back, it felt natural to me to look for a sacred instrument, like gamelan, for the Javanese and the Balinese. The choice fell on the pipe organ, which saw its diffusion in Central Italy (Lazio, Toscana, Umbria, Romagna, Marche) because of the Papal States. The first documents talking of pipe organs in Central Italy go back to the IX century. The Papal States ceased to exist when Italy finally got reunited for the first time in 1861, but this doesn't mean that those instruments, mostly hosted in churches, disappeared." - Ldgu